Lunch at the Crossroads returns Friday |

Lunch at the Crossroads returns Friday

Jennifer Terman
Staff Writer

As part of its tradition, Lunch at the Crossroads will be offering a free lunch this Friday to those in need of a hot meal, with extra entertainment and items for the holiday season.

"It's just a great opportunity to reach out to the needy in our community," said volunteer Judy Petrie. "When they walk in the door and stand in line and look at tables with all the donations and see the looks on their faces and it just seems as though they are so grateful to be able to come in."

This Friday's event will also be offering clothing, groceries, presents, Santa Claus and Lyman Gilmore junior high choir will also be performing.

"The jackets are all donated and the presents are brand new, and we give away groceries to everybody who comes in," said Joseph Salas, the founder of the program. "And we also have gently used clothing for other people,"

“We try to help others so they can go forward for the next day and try to give them some kind of spirit of encouragement.”

— Joseph Salas,
Founder of Lunch at the Crossroads

The event will take place at the United Methodist Church, 236 S. Church St. in Grass Valley; the menu includes hot turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and assorted pies and cakes. Lunch will be served restaurant-style from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

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"When you sit down, we serve you and everything is there," Salas said. "We bring desserts to you and take plates away."

The program has been offered for about five years, Salas said, and has served 5,742 people.

Salas would like to offer lunches twice a month, but cannot offer the quality he seeks to provide without more donations.

"For the last three years, I could've done it, but I couldn't give the quality of the food that I'm giving right now," Salas said.

Salas said he hopes to bring in even more donations to offer more meals to the community.

According to Petrie, the guests appreciate not only the donations but the way they are served.

"You see them standing there at the baskets choosing shampoos and conditioners, lotions and soaps, all the things that help them feel a little bit like everybody else," she said. "They're very appreciative."

Petrie said she remembered a year when a man came during Christmas time and wasn't even concerned with a gift for himself, but wanted one for his wife.

"He said 'I don't really want a gift, but I don't have anything to give to my wife.

Do you think there'd be anything?' and we all rushed in and peeked at unmarked gifts," she said. "And the smile on his face … we probably get as much or more from our participation as our guests do."

Salas said the basic need to eat is what he is trying to meet, allowing his guests the ability to enjoy the day they are given.

"The whole thing about this is that we're talking about food," Salas said. "Food. You should give people what they want to eat and make sure they have enough nourishment and that their bellies are full.

"We try to help others so they can go forward for the next day and try to give them some kind of spirit of encouragement."

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To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call (530) 477-4230.

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